This no-BS outfitter’s philosophy is to sell REALITY, not a DREAM. Sure, he kills monster whitetails and mule deer, but he won’t “sell” you one of those hunts. Deer like that don’t live on every farm, so he leases the highest quality land available and hunts the deer that do live there. He feels that deer over 160 inches are “5% bucks” – 5% of his successful clients are going to slay monster deer like that. The other 95% are going to shoot respectable deer. What happens in most instances is hunters come in wanting a 150” deer, but when a 135” goes broadside at 15 yards, the hunter draws and shoots. So rather than promoting the monsters and have you coming in hoping to shoot a 160”, 170” or even 200” non-typical, he promotes the deer in the 130”-150” range. That way, if you come in expecting a shot at one of these and have success, you will be happy and will have got what you paid for. If you shoot a monster, then it’s just that much sweeter.
He has 18 farms leased in 4 different counties in northwest Kansas (Unit 1). Much of the land is open crop (typically corn) or grassland, with few trees. While some of these properties have bucks on them year round, generally the bucks move onto these properties after the annual crop harvest and then leave again in the spring, spending the summer living in the corn fields. So once the corn is gone, the deer that have been living in that corn run for cover, which is what this outfitter has leased, and lots of it, including creek bottoms, and he litters these areas with stands and game cameras. He also limits hunter numbers to no more than 6 per camp at each of his 3 camps.
In Kansas, he offers both semi-guided and fully-guided hunts. Semi-guided hunters will be provided pre-hung treestands in bottlenecks or near mineral sites, and will be given a map of the property with stand locations marked on the map. They will also be given daily advice on where and how to hunt the farm, as well as a picture of every buck known to frequent the property. This makes it easy to pass a tempting buck when you KNOW a bigger one, two or three are also in the area. Deer in the 130” and up range are on every farm they have leased. If not, they won’t have pictures of them and will not put hunters on that farm. This outfitter prides himself on the quality of his hunts.
His fully-guided Kansas hunts are for the hunter that wants a special deer that exceeds 150”. These deer do not live on every farm and must be scouted out and specifically targeted. Fully-guided trips run 5 days and are only guided by the owner. He will not hire guides for this because he feels that no one cares about your happiness more than he does. That said, these fully-guided hunts are limited to no more than 12 in total for the whole year.
Although these hunts are considered fully-guided, he doesn’t sit with you in the stand. Generally what happens is he’ll put you, or you and your friend, in an area where a buck of your approval lives. This way you can cover the buck if he zigs or zags this way or that. He’ll drive you in, drop you off, and then go scout for other deer until it’s time to come get you. If you like, he can sit with you and call, film, or judge bucks. These hunts are hard work, with early mornings, breakfasts on the go, brats over lunch, and a lot of BS-ing around the BBQ at night drinking cold ones and talking about the day past and tomorrow’s plans. This outfitter doesn’t rest until you harvest your buck, and over 85% of his clients did just that in 2017, and that’s mostly bowhunters! That’s outstanding.
This outfitter does not charge a trophy fee for monster bucks, nor does he charge a penalty if you shoot a buck that he deems too small. If you are happy with a 130” buck, no one is happier for you than he is.
All non-resident deer tags in Kansas are by draw only, but the odds of drawing are historically very high. The draw period is April 1 to April 27, 2018. You can also purchase a preference point only if you wish to hunt the following year instead.
“After consulting with Butch Manasse, he highly recommended this outfitter for a DIY whitetail hunt. I can honestly say that it was one of my best hunting experiences, having hunted with Butch himself, internationally for some years now. Can’t say how much I appreciate the outfitter giving me such a hands-on hunt. After looking over the stand and camera placement, I would not change anything. The only problem was that I never got to get into the Jacuzzi! All stands had safety ropes attached and the placements were my choice also. Good luck bowhunting this year. I may have to try it next year.” – Hunt Nation client John C.
Western Kansas also has some big mule deer, and this outfitter can put you onto bucks in the 180” class, if you can draw a tag, so it’s definitely worth trying. When you apply for the whitetail tag, at the same time you should apply for the muley stamp. Mulies are harder to draw tags, but it is EXTREMELY worthwhile to try and secure the muley stamp. And if you do not draw for muley, you are forced to hunt those big Kansas whitetails! Tough luck! No points on mulies, though, so everyone has the same chance.
This outfitter has secured several miles of the Platte River near Brady in south-central Nebraska. The area is under-hunted and hunters report seeing hundreds of deer here over a span of three or four days. Don’t expect to see hundreds, but this is not uncommon. Call the North Platte Game and Fish office to ask about deer numbers in Brady if you just tossed a Red Flag. This property is flat LOADED with deer, so it makes a great hunt for anyone who likes to see large numbers of deer, and he’s got some 2-man stands here so it’s ideal for taking along a youngster or someone new to hunting.
However, due to Nebraska regulations allowing rifle hunting during the peak of the rut, the deer here just don’t get as big and nasty as the Kansas bucks (although harvest sizes during archery season are almost identical to Kansas because most bowhunters can’t pass up a Pope and Young buck at 10 yards!). Still, plenty of great deer in the 130” to 150” range are taken every year. This area has over the counter deer tags for archery and muzzleloader, and basically a gimme draw for rifle. As such, this outfitter hunts whitetails in Nebraska mainly as a backup if you don’t draw a tag in Kansas.
For mulies they hunt thousands of acres near Curtis, in southwest Nebraska. The terrain consists of rolling hills to steep, shallow canyons. The terrain is relatively open but wooded with mostly cedar and yucca, so shots can be close or far. This is a hunt for 150”-160” deer, and they took 10 in that class in 2017, but there are 160”-180” and sometimes even bigger deer seen every year. As a bonus, your archery deer tag is good for either mule deer or whitetail (but not both), and muzzleloader and rifle mule deer are historically a gimme draw license (draw is in May), while whitetail tags are mostly over the counter here. Hunting here will be done from waterholes to spot and stalk. Western hunters who are used to glassing and then going in for the kill will thrive in this target-rich environment.
The self-guided hunts don’t include food or lodging. The fully-guided hunts do include food and lodging, and your lodging can range from a hotel, a 1,000 square foot modest home, a 3,000 square foot cabin, or even a fancy lodge. If you’re looking for a mint on your pillow at night and fancy steak dinners, please look elsewhere. 99% of the money you spend with this outfitter is invested in the hunt, and we feel that’s the way it should be. If they have to get a last minute motel room for you so you can get on a monster buck, then so be it, in which case it might just have to be Subway subs for dinner. This is a real hunt, and they do everything they can to help you get on a good deer, even if that means eating PB&J and staying out all day.
Please be aware that this outfitter really cares about the deer, and doesn’t want to see any wounded and lost. To that end, he will put you through a shooting test upon arrival, before you’re allowed to hunt. There will be no trick shots, no backward shots, bank shots, ricochets, combos or anything of the like. Instead, if you say you’re lethal with your bow out to 40 yards, you must put a lethal shot on “Rodney”, their resident deer target, at 40 yards. If you say you’re good at 30, then 30 it is. You get one shot, and you must treat Rodney as if he was your trophy deer standing in front of you live. If you cannot put a lethal shot on Rodney and miss or gut shoot him, you’ll have 24 hours to practice before your next test. If you fail on day two, you’ll again have to wait to hunt another day. Please come prepared. Rifle hunters will be tested to their effective shooting ranges as well.
PRICES 2018 (subject to change without notice until deposit received)
Semi-Guided 5-Days – $2,200 (no food or lodging included, but can be added for approx. $75/day)
Available Kansas Dates – November 1, November 5, November 15 (archery – a few spots left; please ask about availability of rifle hunts Nov. 28-Dec. 2)
Available Nebraska Dates – throughout December (muzzleloader – the first week of Dec. can be dynamite!)
Fully-Guided 5-Days – $4,250 (includes food and lodging; again, nothing fancy, as this is a serious hunt for serious hunters who don’t worry about such things)
Available Kansas Dates – November 1, November 10, November 20 (additional availability for single hunters; please ask)
Available Nebraska Dates – November various (archery – 4 spots only); November 10-14 (rifle – 1 spot only);
PLEASE NOTE THAT HE WILL ALLOW YOU STAY FOR UP TO 7 DAYS FOR NO EXTRA CHARGE! THAT’S HOW MUCH HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR BUCK!
Whitetail tags (approx. $442.50) are applied for online or by phone. Non-residents must apply from April 1 through April 27, 2018, or apply by phone at 1-800-918-2877. If successful, then you must also purchase a non-resident hunting license (approx. $97.50). Draw odds are historically very high for this either-sex tag (95% of this outfitter’s clients drew last year), and the outfitter will assist you with the draw. If unsuccessful, you receive a refund of your tag fee, and a preference point. You can also just purchase a preference point (approx. $26.50) to increase your chances in the draw THE FOLLOWING YEAR.
If you want a crack at a Kansas mule deer, THEN AT THE SAME TIME YOU APPLY FOR THE WHITETAIL TAG, YOU MUST ALSO APPLY FOR THE MULEY STAMP. YOU MUST APPLY FOR EITHER MUZZLOADER OR BOW TO DRAW THE MULEY TAG (no rifles). We would suggest you do just that, as some mulies here die of old age! If you draw an archery or muzzleloader whitetail tag, and if you applied at the same time for the Mule Deer Stamp and drew that too, your whitetail archery or muzzleloader permit converts to an either-species/either-sex archery or muzzleloader permit. Preference points do not count toward this Mule Deer Stamp draw. If unsuccessful in the Mule Deer Stamp draw, you receive a refund and you will be issued the White-tailed Deer Archery or Muzzleloader Draw Permit. No rifle muley hunts, though, only rifle whitetails. BOTTOM LINE ON KANSAS: Excellent odds to draw rifle, bow or muzzleloader whitetail tag, and you MUST apply for a Mule Deer Stamp AT THE SAME TIME. If you draw the muley stamp, you can shoot either species! Home run!
Bowhunting tags are over the counter. Muzzleloader and rifle are by draw but are pretty much a sure thing. The outfitter will assist you with the draw. A non-resident hunting license (approx. $97) is required, along with the deer tag (approx. $249).
ONE LAST NOTE: Hunting in areas like Kansas and Nebraska which are known to hold giants, IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF TAGGING ONE! You may go home empty handed, or settle for a 125” whitetail or a 145” muley – or you could tag the buck of a lifetime. The excitement is that you are hunting where a monster could show up at any time. Have fun and enjoy the experience!